Commerce City, CO — The police officer who shot a pit bull mix five times has been charged with animal cruelty, a class six felony under Colorado law.
The incident started when Chloe, the pit bull-lab mix who was being watched by a dogsitter for the owner who was out of state, wandered loose on November 24, and a neighbor called 911.
The animal control officer on the scene apparently had difficulty securing Chloe in a neck harness. Responding Commerce City officers Tased the dog twice, and then one of the officers opened fire with his department-issued handgun — shooting and killing dog — even though it appeared that canine may not have been acting aggressively.
The incident, which was captured on video, sparked a controversy in the Denver suburb and the surrounding area as to whether the officer acted disproportionately.
After a thorough investigation, the Adams County, Colorado, District Attorney decided to charge Officer Robert Price with aggravated cruelty to animals according to CBS Channel 4 in Denver:
“In the past three weeks investigators reviewed reports by responding officers, both police and animal control officers, canvassed the neighborhood and interviewed additional witnesses, collected evidence from the scene, reviewed video of the shooting, reviewed the 911 tape and reviewed the necropsy of the dog at CSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.”
Officer Price, who maintained that the dog was being aggressive, is now on paid administrative leave while the case against him is pending. The dog’s owner is also considering filing a civil lawsuit against the police department.
Watch a CBS News report on the animal cruelty charges against Commerce City Police Officer Robert Price: